Tue, Mar 04, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Lee Chin-lung stays on to shoulder blame for crash

By Ko Shu-ling  /  STAFF REPORTER

Council of Agriculture Chairman Lee Chin-lung (李金龍) has tendered his resignation twice over the past two days, but will stay on to take responsibility for the Alishan train crash, Cabinet Spokesman Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday.

"The premier didn't approve Lee's resignation because the accident didn't result from faulty decision-making by Lee but from careless execution," Lin quoted Premier Yu Shyi-kun as saying yesterday.

Yu made the remark during a closed-door meeting where he listened to the briefing on the accident presented by the agriculture council, interior ministry, health department and defense ministry.

According to Lin, Lee tendered his resignation, both verbally and in writing, twice since the accident took place on Saturday.

Instead of quitting, Lin said, Lee should focus on how to prevent similar accidents from happening again.

Bowing to the public to express his personal apology, Lee yesterday also took the opportunity to dismiss media reports that the accident took place because the four-carriage train was overloaded.

"Records show that 1,073 tickets were sold that day. In other words, there was an average of 179 passengers in each of the six trains that went up the mountain that day. However, each train can carry 200 people," he said.

Lee yesterday also revealed the names of council officials who have been held responsible for the accident.

Huang Yu-hsing (黃裕星), director of the agriculture council's forestry bureau, was transferred to a non-administrative position. He offered his resignation on the day of the accident.

Huang's position will be temporarily filled by Lee Tao-sheng (李桃生), the bureau's deputy director.

In addition, Hung Ming-chuan (洪明川), director of the forestry management office in Chiayi County, will be transferred to a technician's position. Deputy director Yung Chao-shun (楊昭勳) will temporarily take over Hung's position.

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